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Issue No. 272 15 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Home Ground Advantage
American pollster Vic Fingerhut has been in Australia this week with a reassuring message to the labour movement - it's OK to stand up for what you believe in - and it might even win you elections.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can’t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival – its not just an eerie view of John Howard’s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.

N E W S

 PM Rallies on Spin

 Crafty Boss Bytes Staff

 Andrews Faces "Thuggery" Challenge

 Delta Blues

 NRL Plays Man Not Ball

 Boeing Hits Turbulence

 Whole Truth Eludes Rev Kev

 Correct Weight Caulfield

 Business Nervous Over IR Changes

 Last Weekend Gets a Lift

 Free Pass for Death Doctors

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on ‘The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism’

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

Culture
To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

L E T T E R S
 Do It Yourself?
 Goodthink
 The vision thing
 True Lies
 You C.A.N. Do It
 Water Works
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Correct Weight Caulfield


Action by Melbourne Racing Club ground staff that halted last Wednesday’s Sandown meeting has seen the racing club lift its pay offer and drop redundancy plans.

About 30 workers met near the 1600 metre mark prior to the start of the J G Heywood Handicap, delaying the event for 14 minutes.

The workers are employed at Sandown and Caulfield, their jobs include preparation between each race to ensure the track is safe and acceptable to the stewards.

The workers have been left in limbo for four months as the MRC refused to budge during discussions over a new three-year collective agreement.

The MRC dropped its plan to allow forced redundancies and lifted its pay offer from 10% to 13.5%, bringing them into line with increases offered to staff at the Victorian Racing Club and the Moonee Valley Racing Club, following the action.

Workers have agreed to a two-week amnesty on industrial action while negotiations on their overtime entitlements continue

Following the action the club's CEO Warren Brown agreed to take part in negotiations for the first time.

Brown had earlier said that he hoped "nothing illegal or silly would go on".

It was the first time in fourteen years that industrial action has disrupted a meeting at the Melbourne track.


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